May 16, 2011
78 illos all, except the frontispiece, in a single bunch at the end of the volume, after, not amid, the text. This is designed for collectors, more than those wanting everyday life, so it focuses on what survives to be collected.
Translators of French works are often, as here, guilty of the crime of partial translation. Doh, if the reader knew enough French to understand the poetry quoted, they could read it in the original, since the poetry is in Middle French and the text at least is in Modern. This shows up in the second chapter, and while the explanatory paragraphs may give you a clue, you are assumed to understand "Beau lict encourtine' de soe, Pour musser la clart' qui nuict," for example. If you can't, at least for once you're walking in forewarned.
The first chapter on medieval furniture is excellent. Perforce, it discusses why we don't have examples, and what our limitations of knowledge are, but then goes on to make the best of it.
P.145-148 is a unique snippet, in which the author suggests ways to use Louis XIII furniture in the modern small room, though also in the provincial mansion. It is good to reflect on if ou were wishful to do your apartment's chambre in medievalesque without being able to manage open-beam ceilings and still needing to make it more comfortable for guests than museum-perfect.